Doctor DeLuca's Addiction Website ]
'Moderate' vs. Abstinent Therapies for
It is deeply
distressing that an entire page of the July 17 section was devoted to
Caroline Knapp's indictment of Moderation Management ("An Alcoholic's
Private Anguish," July 17).
is an op-ed piece and should have been labeled as such. Knapp's personal
opinions and reflections were presented without an attempt to talk to the
local MM representative, who also happens to be the national spokesperson
of the organization.
Contrary to the
assertions of Knapp and other abstinence advocates, the decision whether
to abstain or "moderate" is not a "black and white" one. People evolve
into such decisions, often going back and forth in a cycle of
contemplation, and this process is deeply individual. Audrey Kishline's
story should not be used to make a case either for or against moderation,
in the same way that the testimony of one AA member should not be
construed as the truth about alcoholism.
--MARC F. KERN
PhD, licensed clinical psychologist,
board of directors of Moderation Management
* * * It's important to
rebut the opinion of Caroline Knapp: Most of us--alcoholic and
nonalcoholic--want moderation to work. We want there to be an alternative
to complete abstinence. For millions of sober alcoholics, moderation isn't
rejected because of fear of relapse, but, more positively, because the
abstinent life is found to be infinitely more rewarding, gratifying,
healthful, comfortable, illuminating, inspiring, and fascinating (with
affirming adjectives probably as numerous as abstinent alcoholics).
For me, plainly and simply, it has felt
wonderful, thank you, for over a decade to live that moderation which is
abstinence. It's a tragedy, and a grim testimonial to the power of
alcoholism and denial, that Audrey Kishline chose a different sort of
archives of the Los Angeles Times for similar stories.
You will not
be charged to look for stories, only to retrieve one.